The Current Status on Female Reproductive Rights in Texas


Lillian Eschweiler

On Sept. 1, 2021, Texas passed legislation of a “heartbeat bill”, which will ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. 

 This “heartbeat bill,” has been rebutted since a fetal heartbeat can be detected as soon as six6 weeks into the pregnancy, the earliest women tend to detect pregnancy is eight to 12 weeks, and the earliest women start to experience symptoms of pregnancy is 12-14 weeks. So, a woman could not even know she is pregnant before a fetal heartbeat is detected. It is also controversial for the fact that Texas is offering $10,000 to anyone who turns in a patient receiving an illegal abortion or a doctor performing said abortion. 

 But this is not a new type of legislation, indeed Texas has been making similar legislation for a while now, to restrict a person’s ability to get an abortion, in 2013, Texas had passed HB-2 Laws which: “which would ban abortion at 20 weeks  and enact some of the strictest regulations in the country on abortion providers and facilities.”

 Other states have also been making, abortion severely difficult, to the point of impossible. In Alabama, a bill called the “Human Life Protection Act,” which banned abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with exceptions in certain cases and makes abortion a Class A felony. And states such as Ohio and Georgia passed similar legislation to Texas’ “Heartbeat Law.” 

 For many women, it feels like we are going backward in time from where we were, post-Roe v. Wade, and it is difficult for many to envision where we are going to be in the future. But to understand where we are going in the future, it is important to understand where we were before Roe V. Wade, and where we are right now when it comes to the reproductive rights of females.  

  In 1973. Roe v. Wade had been settled in the United States Supreme Court, that Abortion was legalized across the United States. It is reported by the world health organization, that close to 5 percent to 13.2 percent of deaths, can be attributed to unsafe or illegal abortion. While the CDC reports, the deaths that can be attributed to legal abortions can be attributed to a percentage of, 0.00073 percent.  

 Although Roe v. Wade, was the case that legalized abortion. The current issues that we are having with state abortion laws is stemming from the Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Which states that states can create restrictions on abortions but cannot restrict them enough to the point where it creates an undue burden, on the mother.  

 With this information, the reproductive rights of women will continue to be restricted by certain states who are adamant about making it illegal, as well as further pushes from Republican politicians to overturn Roe V. Wade.  

 However, if these pro-life politicians, would like to lessen the rate of abortions, the most productive option would not be to make abortion illegal, it would be to provide proper sexual education, family planning services, and access to contraception’s, which we in the U.S. are failing to provide easy access too, it is reported that 20 million women which is the population of New York,  are unable to access birth control in the U.S. whether it is because of the area they live in or other reasons.